Sadhana: Divine Devotion
Jan 14, 2020
Sadhana means a daily spiritual practice. It is about setting a daily routine and building a devotional practice.
“What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. … Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”
Sadhana is a daily practice that is usually done before sunrise when the sun is at a sixty-degree angle to the Earth. These early hours of the day are very good for meditation and is full of universal energy which flows in and around the body.
You can practice sadhana at any time of the day-- AND morning sadhana has a different energy and is great for cleansing the body. It prepares the mind and the body before you face the world each day and it is a very sacred time you can take to connect with your Higher Self before the clutter and business of life interfere with your practice.
“There are a lot of things we need: One of these needs is that for the mind to work for you for the whole day, it must be fresh and clear; it must be made liveable. That is why it is a requirement to rise early in the morning when nobody can disturb you, when you can be yourself.”– Yogi Bhajan
I get it. After years of no sleep with my little one (and still adjusting), the idea of getting up early almost feels torturous. It can feel challenging for some to wake up very early in the morning to practice sadhana. It requires lots of willpower and commitment. You have what it takes. Trust in yourself.
There is no act of self-love than SHOWING UP FOR YOURSELF.
In Kundalini Yoga we practice meditations + Kriyas. Kriyas are yoga sets that are thousands of years old. You should always tune in + out before and after your sadhana practice.
Typically we practice a particular kriya or mantra every single day for the same amount of time. Based on the number of days you do this, here is how it will affect your habits:
40 Days: Practice every day for 40 days straight. This will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra.
90 Days: Practice every day for 90 days straight. This will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious minds based on the effect of the kriya or mantra. It will change you in a very deep way.
120 Days: Practice every day for 120 days straight. This will confirm the new habit of consciousness created by the kriya or mantra. The positive benefits of the kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.
1000 Days: Practice every day for 1000 days straight. This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.After 40 days the devotion becomes a habit. It sets your mind and body up and the entire day flows from there.
Sadhana can be done on your own or in a group but when you do it with a group, the energy of the group helps balance the energies of each person participating. Even virtually, the collective consciousness of the entire group lifts you up and propels you to your destiny.
If you are practicing alone, Yogi Bhajan said to visualize a thousand other yogis practicing with you.
“Sadhana is not a matter of advantages and disadvantages. It is simply a means through which you can defeat all your miseries, misfortunes, and handicaps. It is a very personal thing which does not relate to anybody except yourself.”– Yogi Bhajan
Your environment has a huge impact on your sadhana practice. The color scheme, aromas (diffuse essential oils!), the sounds around you, all affect the energy of the environment and your practice.
Your meditation space is best when aired and fresh and the temperature is not too hot or cold.
Sitting on an animal skin mat or a wool blanket creates insulation between you and the magnetic pull of the Earth.
Of course, ensuring that interruptions and disturbing noises are minimized is ideal, those of us with families, roommates, pets, etc must be ultra-aware that we become very sensitive during any practice time. This is normal! Be kind to yourself and others!
Preparing your body for your practice is also key. How sweet it is to create a morning routine for yourself and start your day with some warmups and a shower. Here me out: Yogi Bhajan HIGHLY suggested taking a cold shower as cold water activates your circulation and wakes up the body. Brrrr right? There are endless benefits!
Wear loose, clean and comfortable clothes and cover your head with a scarf or wrap with a turban. I personally must have a cotton blanket or wrap to use during my own sadhana.
“The greatest reward of doing sadhana is that the person becomes incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory over time and space. Getting up is a victory over time, and doing it is a victory over space. That is what sadhana is. And when you do a sadhana in the sangat, you enrich yourself in multiple ways.”